Edge Jointing Not Coming Together. Me? The Jointer?

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Forum topic by splinterking posted 02-04-2014 02:47 PM 1552 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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67 posts in 2065 days

02-04-2014 02:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer table top

I’m working on the top to my first “big” table. A kitchen table commissioned by the wife. I’m milling up the pieces for the top right now. I ended up having to rip some wide boards to fit my jointer, the faces get flat, but then when I joint an edge and go match it to another jointed edge I have a slight gap an one end. This happened repeatedly, the gap is probably about a 1/64”-1/32”. Though light clamping does get rid of it, it seeds like this is just asking for it to open up later. I’ve tried to pay close attention to my technique, making sure I was applying appropriate pressure on the out feed side.

A quick note about the jointer, it is just an older 6” Ridgid I picked up off CL for $125, but up until now it’s always severed me well, so I don’t know why it would all of a sudden be so different. However I’ve never really jointer such long stock(60”) on it.

So has anyone got any ideas or experience with this? Any help would be great.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

15 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3677 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 02:55 PM

is this is a gap at ‘one’ end that could indicate snipe.

I would personally not count on glue+clamp pressure to close a gap at the end, I would plane it so that the joint is flush all across (or a slight gap in the center is OK too in some cases, but not at the ends).

as for snipe – have you dialed in your jointer and made sure that:
1. all knives are set to exact same height
2. outfeed table is set tocutterhead/knives height


that would be my first thing to check. if that works out, check your technique – make sure you only apply pressure on the board on the outfeed table side, not on the infeed. think of it as you are only assisting the board to pass along the cutterhead – not really pushing down on it, and guiding it over the outfeed-board so that it will be consistent.

if all fails – handplanes will fix this;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View bonesbr549's profile


1558 posts in 3095 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 02:59 PM

Well it could be a couple things. First, do you have a small precision square to place on the flat face to the edge and confirm you are getting 90? If not, then check your fence to table and make sure it’s 90. If its got an aluminum fence, you could be getting deflection and thats the issue. Second think that could be happening, is you are not applying equal and firm pressure against the fence behind the board. I had a delta 6” jointer that I fought the deflection issue for years. Finally gave it away and bought a jointer that had a cast iron fence and problem went away. Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View splinterking's profile


67 posts in 2065 days

#3 posted 02-04-2014 03:00 PM

@PurpLev: I did spend quite a bit of time calibrating the jointer, so I feel pretty confident that it’s okay there, but it’s been a while so I’ll have to check it again. I thought about taking the matching edges and putting them in a vise facing up and giving them a few swipes with a #5. If I recall correctly that should make them match up, but I’m just starting to get in to hand planes.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3507 days

#4 posted 02-04-2014 03:43 PM

Can you join adjoining boards together opposing so any error would be applied to both boardsm just in mirroe fashion?

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3070 days

#5 posted 02-04-2014 03:47 PM

I would say you are applying to much pressure when you get to the end of the push.

Snipe happens because you have unequal pressure on the board, whether its on the in-feed or out-feed side.

Try applying less downward pressure on the back of the board when you get to the end of the push and more forward pressure.

And keep a good amount of pressure on the out-feed side.

Hope I explained that right.

Also I have found it a good idea to apply some wax on the table so you get a nice smooth movement while sliding the wood across it. Of course buff the wax til you get a nice little shine to it. Should fell like a newly waxed car.

View popsshop's profile


42 posts in 3003 days

#6 posted 02-04-2014 04:49 PM

One suggestion, be sure the infeed and outfeed tables are coplanar. Although not too likely, over time the outfeed may move slightly up or down at far end. Waxing of cast iron parts is also a good idea . . . not only allows for smooth movement of wood, but helps protect against oxidation.

-- Drilling holes in wood is a boring job

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2841 days

#7 posted 02-04-2014 05:04 PM

Here are two great videos from the Wood Whisperer explaining jointer setup and stock milling.

I think the most important things are to get the infeed and outfeed tables coplanar within .002”, and to make sure the knives are set exactly to the height of the outfeed table.

Also, make sure to always joint boards concave side down so you have two points of contact. A board jointed convex side down may never get straight, because there is only one point of contact.

Go to the 8th picture in this blog to read about the “O and I” technique from Fine Woodworking Magazine…
It basically says that by jointing one board facing the fence, and the mating board facing away from the fence you will compensate for any errors in your fence setting. Ie: a fence set at 89 degrees would still yield perfect results.

Good luck with it.

I have found that once the machine is set up properly, there is very little technique involved in getting straight square lumber. I think it is your setup.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#8 posted 02-05-2014 02:33 AM

Several good suggestion have already been posted above. I would just add that perhaps you should mill your boards long enough that you can cut the ends back enough to eliminate these tiny gaps after the glue up.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2703 days

#9 posted 02-05-2014 03:06 AM

I had a problem much like you describe. Mine was caused by the outfeed table was lower than the cutting edges of the knives. I didn’t check to make certain that both ends of the knives were the same height. Set the jointer then it is technique, technique, technique

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3070 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 03:10 AM

I forgot about that one GF, its a must with my Planer. Hell of a lot easier then screwing around with snipe.

View Kryptic's profile


294 posts in 1688 days

#11 posted 02-05-2014 03:21 AM

b4 u even slide a board across the jointer,

take a square that is indeed “square”

get a flashlight and place behind the square

and put the square against the bed of the jointer, and the fence

see if you can see light through the edges of the square

do this test across the whole bed and the whole fence

in my experience, the results are often poor

and learn

View jumbojack's profile


1677 posts in 2652 days

#12 posted 02-05-2014 03:50 AM

Can you determine if the gap is caused on the front of the board, that is the first part to hit the cutterhead or the trainling part. I would bet it is on the leading edge. Start your jointing with pressure in the middle of the infeed side of the jointer. After, say 8 or 9 inches have passed onto the outfeed side get on the outfeed side with just enough pressure to keep the board from chattering.
Also there is nothing wrong with selective jointing.
How much material are you taking per pass. If it is more than a 32 you are taking too much. For final jointing the lightest pass is the best.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View splinterking's profile


67 posts in 2065 days

#13 posted 02-05-2014 05:06 AM

Thanks for everyone’s help. I think my jointer goes out of adjustment too easily and that’s part of the problem. The out feed table had dropped a little, but also I just was batching to much at once and not applying pressure properly. I appreciate all the advice it helped me get some perspective on the situation. I’m going to do a final pass tomorrow night and see if I can get it to joint up right.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 2706 days

#14 posted 02-05-2014 10:42 AM

I would try a roller infeed / outfeed support. Maybe the weight of the longer board is flexing the jointer bed, pushing it out of adjustment.

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 1602 days

#15 posted 02-05-2014 11:09 AM

Had a look at the Ridgid machine online & as the table is 45inch long & your stock is 60in. you will never have 2 points of contact unless you add infeed/outfeed support. Personally I think you have done well with the eqipment available to you to have gaps of less than 1mm. I usually slightly oversize and cut to size after glue-up. The tip with the wax on the bed is good for smooth operation, if you have to apply excess (downward) pressure this is a clear sign the material needs support. Good luck.

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